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What does this photo tell you about saddle fit? & confo for that matter!

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  • What does this photo tell you about saddle fit? & confo for that matter!

    Just did the photos and wither tracings today as I am hoping to get a dressage saddle for my new guy - and it made me wonder "What can she tell from this photo?" ..as I, frankly, have no idea!

    Of course I will find this out once I hear back from the saddle fitter, but I'm curious to hear what COTHers can see just based off the photo.

    Any confo connoisseurs feel free to comment, as well! I'm always looking to learn more about conformation. He is a coming 4yo OTTB, off FL in August. Thanks!

    Seawalker

  • #2
    Just popping in to say that I think the reason you've gotten no responses is two-fold:

    1) That picture, at least on my computer, is pretty dang small.

    2) You've posed a brown horse against a busy, brown background. That, combined with the size of the photo, makes it REALLY hard to see what/where his actual top line is. The best confo photos are taken against a "blank canvas" that is a different color than the horse...the side of a white barn, for example.

    As for why the saddle fitter would want that general shot, that's an easy one. She can see the slope of the horse's shoulder and where his scapula might end (which will help her know what sort of tree points will fit him) and she can see the general shape of his back...whether it be flat, or curved, etc.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
      Just popping in to say that I think the reason you've gotten no responses is two-fold:

      1) That picture, at least on my computer, is pretty dang small.

      2) You've posed a brown horse against a busy, brown background. That, combined with the size of the photo, makes it REALLY hard to see what/where his actual top line is. The best confo photos are taken against a "blank canvas" that is a different color than the horse...the side of a white barn, for example.

      As for why the saddle fitter would want that general shot, that's an easy one. She can see the slope of the horse's shoulder and where his scapula might end (which will help her know what sort of tree points will fit him) and she can see the general shape of his back...whether it be flat, or curved, etc.

      Whoops! Re: size, I didn't realize I had my upload options set to resize the photo. Here is a higher res version (what I meant to post) which might help a tiny bit with the busy background. I didn't have any way to pose him in front of that white wall and get a shot directly from the side because it's a grooming stall (plus trying to do it myself). :/ So you're saying I should have gotten a grey? :P

      Thank you for the feedback!

      Same photo.. larger size.

      Comment


      • #4
        He's cute! Put together quite nicely.

        As for saddle fit. Make sure you get something that will allow for adjustments. Something tells me he's not quite done growing...just a gut reaction to the pic...for whatever that's worth!

        I predict much fun with him in your future!
        www.debracysporthorses.com
        Home of Sea Accounts xx
        AHS/HV, ATA, GOV, RPSI, JC, AQHA, APHA, APtHA
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        • #5
          I think his built similarly to Rogue. Downward slope to his back (although I think Rogue's has more slope, hers is longer too), which I've learned you need to accommodate for when they raise their backs. I think Ann suggested something with softer panels. I just actually bought a dressage saddle I was sent an Amerigo Alto and an Albion SLK, which I ended up taking the Albion.

          What is your close contact that you ride him in?

          Here's our side shot if you wanna compare backs haha

          https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...42965505_n.jpg

          Comment


          • #6
            It is a bit difficult to see the horse's topline in the photo; a plain background is always preferable.

            That said, one of the reasons fitters will ask for a conformation shot is that the horse's overall balance and build plays a huge part in saddle fitting. Sometimes it's tough to tell what the topline is like based on the template (depending on how the flexible curve is placed on the paper - see http://saddlefitter.blogspot.com/201...l-part-ii.html for more info on that), so the conformation shot is the defining item. This horse slopes up to the croup, so a thinner rear gusset will be needed - a thick gusset will make the saddle sit cantle-high, even if the tree width is correct. The back's also fairly short (the weight-bearing part of it), so an upswept rear panel might be a good idea if the rider requires a larger seat size. The tree should be fairly flat, and perhaps a deeper front panel (like a K or skidrow but probably not a trapezius / dropped) might be a good feature as well. Wither or full front gusset might be a good option to help support the front of the saddle and keep it back off the shoulder, but the template would tell for sure. I'd probably recommend a saddle with a shorter tree point as well; I don't think the wither's large enough to require longer points. It's a bit tough to see the horses "underline" in this photo (it sort of fades into the wood in the background), but it looks as though the girth spot is fairly long, so a point or forward hung front billet probably wouldn't be needed.

            Of course, things can change quite a lot when the rider's up and the horse starts to move. Static fit is the first step, but the real acid test is active fit. What looks great in the crossties can be a nightmare in motion. Long-distance fitting can involve some trial-and-error, but if you're working with someone who has a lot of experience, it's usually pretty painless.
            Kitt Hazelton
            Saddle Fitter
            www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
            www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by cyriz's mom View Post
              He's cute! Put together quite nicely.

              As for saddle fit. Make sure you get something that will allow for adjustments. Something tells me he's not quite done growing...just a gut reaction to the pic...for whatever that's worth!

              I predict much fun with him in your future!
              Thank you very much! I think you are quite right about him not being done growing. I just hope he doesn't get any taller! Fill out, sure, go ahead.

              Originally posted by EventingJ View Post
              I think his built similarly to Rogue. Downward slope to his back (although I think Rogue's has more slope, hers is longer too), which I've learned you need to accommodate for when they raise their backs. I think Ann suggested something with softer panels. I just actually bought a dressage saddle I was sent an Amerigo Alto and an Albion SLK, which I ended up taking the Albion.

              What is your close contact that you ride him in?

              Here's our side shot if you wanna compare backs haha

              https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...42965505_n.jpg
              Aww Rogue-yyyy! :] I actually rode in Annie's SLK Ultima yesterday and quite liked it. The fit wasn't great for him (not terrible, either) that we had to shim it up in the front. My jump saddle is an Amerigo CC monoflap, but that was fit by Ann for Jake, not for this little dude. It's been serviceable so far and I think we can make it work - cause I certainly cannot afford a new jump saddle AND a dressage saddle! Our entries for Leslie and Lehman's are in!!! EEEEE I MIGHT EVENT THIS YEAR!!!

              Originally posted by Kitt View Post
              It is a bit difficult to see the horse's topline in the photo; a plain background is always preferable.

              That said, one of the reasons fitters will ask for a conformation shot is that the horse's overall balance and build plays a huge part in saddle fitting. Sometimes it's tough to tell what the topline is like based on the template (depending on how the flexible curve is placed on the paper - see http://saddlefitter.blogspot.com/201...l-part-ii.html for more info on that), so the conformation shot is the defining item. This horse slopes up to the croup, so a thinner rear gusset will be needed - a thick gusset will make the saddle sit cantle-high, even if the tree width is correct. The back's also fairly short (the weight-bearing part of it), so an upswept rear panel might be a good idea if the rider requires a larger seat size. The tree should be fairly flat, and perhaps a deeper front panel (like a K or skidrow but probably not a trapezius / dropped) might be a good feature as well. Wither or full front gusset might be a good option to help support the front of the saddle and keep it back off the shoulder, but the template would tell for sure. I'd probably recommend a saddle with a shorter tree point as well; I don't think the wither's large enough to require longer points. It's a bit tough to see the horses "underline" in this photo (it sort of fades into the wood in the background), but it looks as though the girth spot is fairly long, so a point or forward hung front billet probably wouldn't be needed.

              Of course, things can change quite a lot when the rider's up and the horse starts to move. Static fit is the first step, but the real acid test is active fit. What looks great in the crossties can be a nightmare in motion. Long-distance fitting can involve some trial-and-error, but if you're working with someone who has a lot of experience, it's usually pretty painless.
              WOW Kitt! What do I owe you for this? Thank you for so much great information! With my limited saddle fit knowledge, the brands that come to mind when I hear K & skidrow panels are Black Country and County.. is that a safe assumption or do others come to mind for you? Now to find something like that with a 15" flap! Thank you for sharing the link - I plan on going back out today and taking a better conformation shot; I'm luring my SO out to get him to hold for me so I can take one in front of the white barn. Judging from the example photos you posted that are quality confo shots, I didn't need to obsess about him being perfectly square (which I didn't do a great job with anyway!) as much as I should have focused on getting contrast to clearly define his topline and belly. Again, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, much appreciated!

              Comment


              • #8
                upswept panels and front gusset.
                Also, just a note. I had my TB fitted as a 4 year old and I had to send my Prestige out to have it opened up 3cm when he was 6.

                You might want to find a saddle that will give you that option.
                http://kaboomeventing.com/
                http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Happy to help out, ake987. Most saddle companies in the UK will make a shorter flap and a K-type panel; some charge extra for the modifications, and some don't. Black Country, for example, does charge a bit more for the K panel but not for the shorter flap, while Loxley and Frank Baines don't charge more for either.
                  Kitt Hazelton
                  Saddle Fitter
                  www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                  www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    my goal for next year is to not buy another saddle I think I've been buying a saddle a year for like 3 or 4 years now -.-

                    My CC is also an Amerigo - a Vesuivio, the monoflap one i tried wouldn't work.

                    I'm excited to see you out an about! We are skipping the CT this year at Lehmans (although we did just play there at a H/J show yesterday) to do the Michael Page clinic. My entry for Leslie Law is also in eeee!

                    Comment

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